Florida Enacts New Hands-Free Law, Effective October 1, 2019
TAMPA, FL – According to an online news report at wfla.com, the second part of Florida’s new hands-free law will begin on October 1, 2019, which enforces a ban on hands-free devices in active construction zones and school zones.*
Similar to the initial ban on texting and driving, there will be a buffer period where police will issue warnings as opposed to tickets to those that violate the law. The first part of Florida’s hands-free law went into effect on July 1, 2019. Since this time, over 1,542 citations and over 400 warnings were issued to offenders.
A sponsor of the bill, Representative Jackie Toledo (R-Tampa) indicates that the buffer period was intentionally imposed.
According to Toledo, “[w]e did give them discretion to either ticket or not ticket and educate and warn.”
For those that violate the new portion of the hands-free law, the penalties, which will begin to be issued on January 1, 2020, include a file of $60 and three points added to one’s license, a much harsher penalty compared to the $30 fine for driving while texting.
“Because there are children around in those areas. There are active workers and construction workers. So really the areas that are most vulnerable,” noted Toledo.
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